Yesterday we looked at a Theology of Evangelism as the first step in developing a church outreach strategy through the Sunday School. Today, we are going to look at the philosophy of outreach through the Sunday School. This is the next step the church needs to make regarding what their outreach plan is.
The key questions: We know from our theology that Christ wants us to be evangelists, so…
- What does evangelism look like in our context?
- Is Sunday School or small groups the best option as our primary evangelism strategy?
- Why is Sunday School or small groups the best option?
Here are some thoughts regarding your church’s philosophy for using Sunday School as its evangelism strategy.
It flattens the church structure. Instead of creating a new event or another ministry to staff and budget, we use a ministry that the church already has in place (and I might add, could use the exercise).
Sunday School is already part of the church’s vision. If you are using something similar to the BGCO ReConnect Sunday School strategy, then evangelism is part of the very first connector – connecting people to Jesus.
Sunday School is how the church is organized to carry out its mission. Evangelism is a vital part of that mission.
Since Sunday School is the largest single organization in most churches, using Sunday School will involve the entire church and involve more people as a result.
Using the Sunday School makes outreach/evangelism a strategy for lay people and communicates that evangelism is not just for professionals, but for all believers.
It provides the next step for guests and future Christians. People attending an event or ministry of our church can be directed into community (another part of the ReConnect Sunday School strategy) instead of to another event. (Note: addicting people to events is a very poor discipleship model.)
It connects lost people into Gospel-centered community – Sunday School. What better place to involve a lost person than in a community of people that are committed to the Gospel!
LifeWay Research shows that a guest that joins a small group is 10x more likely to be discipled in five years than if they only attend worship services and events. What better place for a lost person to explore the Gospel than in a Gospel-driven Sunday School or small group? (Eric Geiger on 5/15/2013, pre-release info from Transformational Groups.)
Thom Rainer reveals that 83% of new believers that participate in Sunday School will still be attending church five years later. Only 16% of worship-only attenders will still be around in five years. (Surprising Insights From the Unchurched)
What thoughts do you have regarding Sunday School and outreach/evangelism?
My next post will be about implementing an outreach strategy for a local church that is grounded on a theology and philosophy of evangelism.